Al­though it has changed

Classic Driver - - MODEL ADVICE -

some­what in re­cent years, Monaco still mostly fol­lows the orig­i­nal cir­cuit.

As a teenager I stud­ied pho­tos of the place in mag­a­zines and books, par­tic­u­larly Mo­tor Rac­ing Cir­cuits of Europe, by Kle­man­taski and Fro­stick and when I went there in 1966 as a me­chanic on the first McLaren F1 car, the M2B (and the first ever Grand Prix for the McLaren team) it looked to­tally fa­mil­iar. It was al­most a time-warp, just as it had been when ‘Wil­liams’, or Wil­liam Grover, won the first ever Monaco Grand Prix in 1929, driv­ing a Bu­gatti.

I next went there in 1969, by now rac­ing in For­mula Three, and it still seemed al­most the same, apart from a few pieces of Armco. Back again in 1971, by now in For­mula One with BRM, the only changes I no­ticed was a bit more Armco, mostly to stop cars fall­ing into the har­bour.

It was not un­til 1973 that we ar­rived to find a re­vised cir­cuit, around the swim­ming pool, and along to Ras­casse. I def­i­nitely pre­ferred it. The old Prom­e­nade straight (curved) was now the pit lane, a much safer place than the open area at the side of the straight as had been the case since 1929. In later years there have been a few very mi­nor al­ter­ations, some ar­eas have been made more open and the tun­nel has be­come very much longer. Valu­able real es­tate has been cre­ated over the track.

What­ever changes have been made it is still one of the great­est cir­cuits in the world. Long may it con­tinue.

March 701-1, Roger Wills car at Monaco

Roger Wills at Monaco

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